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Governance

  • By: Mary Dengler
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The idea of governance has traditionally been understood as the pursuit of the activities of government or the actions taken by political leaders and government bureaucrats for the benefit of people. During the late 20th century, the term governance began to be used more broadly by geographers, political scientists, and other social scientists to refer to activities that not only included government actors and institutions but also notably extended beyond government. The wider actors and institutions involved include civil society, such as nongovernmental organizations, as well as, increasingly, corporate interests. Individual citizens have also been encouraged to actively participate in community-based planning processes. The notion of “good governance” in social science parlance signifies the inclusion of the multiple stakeholders who share a common concern, albeit ...

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